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No evidence for a “Francis effect” so far December 2, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, manhood, Papa, pr stunts, Sacraments, sadness, secularism, self-serving, shocking, Society, the return.
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Many in the press, some Catholic pundits included, have tried to put forth a pious hope (or a forlorn hope) that, while we might find some of Pope Francis’ actions and statements disconcerting and troubling with respect to the constant belief and practice of the Faith, he was reaching new heights of outreach to disaffected Catholics and those outside the Faith, comforting them by dispelling all that troubling “mess” concerning dogma and beliefs, presenting a picture of a very warm, inviting and non-judgmental Church that would open its arms to receive all these lost sheep back into Her fold. We have been told there was a great “Francis effect” brewing, and that this effect would soon produce all kinds of beneficial results for the Church.  We have been presented with anecdotal evidence of long lines for Confession in Italy, all kinds of excitement brewing in the Holy City, and a general, hoped for boom in the very long-delayed “new evangelization.”

Well, the data is in, and so far, it doesn’t look like the results have materialized as hoped for.  In fact, Palmaro and Gnocchi claim that Mass attendance has continued to fall in Italy since last March, and we now have data from a secular polling firm that Mass attendance in the US has, thus far, remained completely unmoved by any “Francis effect” (h/t Rorate):

Francis effect

Now, obviously, it’s very early, but data from at least two countries, and some anecdotal evidence from others, suggests any “Francis effect” is going to be rather small.

Historically, haven’t we been down this road before?  One of the progressive’s major selling points for the changes they foisted on the Church in the 60s/70s timeframe, was that finally getting with the liberal program would lead to just scads of converts and that the Church would experience a new springtime that would make the original Pentecost seem tame by comparison.

Well, around 50 years later, we’re still awaiting a prolonged thaw in the frozen nightmare of this long-delayed “new springtime.”  The fundamental error in the progressive’s claim was that those who they are trying to reach have already checked out of the Church, pretty much permanently, and these types aren’t going to respond to more of the same liberalism that played a huge role in leading them out of the Church in the first place.  The only thing that has proven effective in the past few decades at re-energizing the Faith and even bringing some people back in is solid orthodoxy/praxis.

Once again, the progressives in and outside the Church are convinced they have their man in Rome, and that their dreams of a great new Pentecost of liberal embrace of the Church is just around the corner. I suppose we’ll see, but the data thus far looks like more of the same is only going to produce more of the same sad, failed results.

On a somewhat related note, I hope to have some thoughts on the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium tomorrow.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, miserere nobis!

Awesome read for fathers – Fr. Ripperger’s Parental Roles and Leadership December 2, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, awesomeness, Basics, disaster, Domestic Church, error, family, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Virtue.
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One of the biggest crises afflicting the culture, and the Church, is the utter collapse of male responsibility and leadership.  Too often, men simply fail to perform the duties their vocations require.  In fact, it seems as each generation comes around, this problem only grows worse and worse.  We all know the scandal that almost half of all babies born in the United States are born to women without husbands.  This is simply one example of the crisis.  There are myriad more.

Of course, none of this is to say that men are solely responsible  – women have certainly, in a collective sense, done a tremendous amount to help destroy the family as an institution, to erode male leadership, to attack the traditional family model, etc. But even with that being the case, it is STILL men’s duty to lead, to overcome all that, and keep sacrificing for the greater good. By and large, men have just stopped doing so.

I don’t want to turn this into a diatribe against men – part of the reason for my railing is simply awareness of my own inadequacies – but I do it to highlight a very valuable resource that was forwarded me by occasional reader TB, who sent me Fr. Chad Ripperger’s paper on Parental Roles and Responsibilities.  This is a great piece for all parents, but especially fathers.  Some excerpts highlighted by TB:

Whenever a father fails to pray, suffer and do good works in order to merit graces for his wife and family, he fails in the most important task of husband and father. …When a father sees a moral or spiritual fault in his wife or child, he fails to provide for them if he merely temporarily admonishes them.  Rather, he must spiritually do what he can to merit grace as well as direct his children and wife through his commands to lead them to virtue.  (You can see the priesthood of the father in this respect.)

The father, by virtue of the office of fatherhood, has rights over his wife and children, and so when the wife and children submit to the father, they enjoy the fruits of those rights, i.e. spiritual providence and protection.  The wife should not view her subjection to her husband as a loss of freedom or control, but as a form of protection and providence, i.e. by means to her own holiness and spiritual safety.”  [This is a great and  important point. We all receive great graces from faithfully submitting to those in authority over us, painful as it may be at times. This fact reveals a fundamental problem with our current cultural model of liberty and the exultation of the individual, which constantly carps against authority and tries (successfully) to subvert it.  I’m sure this statement will be unpopular with some, however, but we must remember that the father was instituted by God as not just the head of the family, but a figurative priest in charge of the domestic flock.  This is a deadly serious responsibility. ]

“The merits of a father to ward off the demonic are more powerful by virtue of his office as husband than of his wife’s.  Since the demons must respect the order of authority, the father enters more efficaciously into the spiritual warfare with the demonic since ultimately they must submit to the order of authority established by God.”

He (father) must protect his authority in order to protect his wife and it is here that we can see the massive failure that has led to our feminized culture. The collapse of fatherhood is NOT due to women, it is due to men.  Men have not been men, women have been allowed to take positions God never intended them.  Men are responsible for the feminist movement” [I would say, yes, this is true. But it is the culture of “enlightenment” with corrosive rhetoric of unlimited individual rights (without concomitant duties) that undergirds men’s failure to perform their duties.  In short, enlightenment “liberal” thinking eventually became so pervasive that answers to feminist demands were lacking and men eventually retreated from their roles as natural leaders of families instituted by God.  I think there is plenty of blame to go around for this most invasive development.]

“Men lose their authority by (a) not observing their proper authority of the wife over the children as mother; (b) by not consulting her when prudence dictates and (c) not treating her with the dignity that is due her, either as a human or according her to office as wife. …Men often experience a certain rebellion from their wives because of mistreatment or a lack of legitimate concern for their wives.”  He lists examples of when it’s prudent to consult the wife on Page 10.

“If the husband without good reason contravenes the mother’s governance of her children, he weakens his own governance.”  (It’s crucial to be on the same page in regards to raising children.)

In respect to the office of wife…when the wife takes care of the home and makes the meals, in justice the husband owes her gratitude and not ridicule or disrespect.  Each time he fails to act in a manner that shows gratitude, he demeans the office of wife and thereby, disrespects the office which God himself has established; in a phrase, he sins.

“If the husband is incapable in fulfilling some aspect of the leadership of the home, the wife may take over if necessary. (Father says it must be a grave and serious matter for the wife to assume authority.)

If he fails in his responsibility, he will pay a greater price than his wife.  In this respect, it is easier for a woman to save her soul than a man, because original sin has left men with a wound of not wanting to take responsibility, at time, for his family because the task is arduous. (It’s much easier to spend the weekends on the lay-z-boy watching football then tending to the spiritual and temporal needs of one’s family.)

————End Quote————-

And what we see today is a vicious circle of men checking out, seeking escape in video games, TV, “man-caves,” drugs, illicit sex, and many other avenues. This feeds a vicious circle, where the man gives up his duties and responsibilities, which many times women then take up, which further alienates the man, leading to further withdrawal, followed by more feminine involvement, etc, until we have about half the men out there running around acting like rutting bucks, very happy to enjoy female pleasure (which they are all too willing to give away), while taking no responsibility for the children that result. Thus, the collapse of the family, the collapse of morality, the advance of decadence and perversion, and eventually – if this continues, civilizational collapse.

Your cheery thought for the day.



Important – Latin-English traditional breviaries back in print December 2, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Liturgy, priests, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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I was fortunate enough to be able to buy a volume of the Baronius Latin-English Breviaries – after a verrrrrry long wait – a couple of years ago. The first printing was quickly exhausted.  When people inquired about where to get a copy, I had to tell them they had missed the boat.  Well, wait no more, the Baronius Breviaries, according to the 1962 Missal and with original, sometimes stilted but very accurate and certainly not a bit modernist, Psalm translations are back in print!

This is the only Latin-English Breviary available that accords to the pre-conciliar Rite.  I can tell you, the prayers in the 1962 Breviary are far, far more moving and, I would say, efficacious of Grace than the banalities that litter the 1970 Liturgy of the Hours.  You may have one of those multi-color sets of the Novus Ordo Liturgy of the Hours in your home, but I can say that in particular that the various prayers in the traditional Breviary are just so much more redolent of a powerful sensus Catholicus that there is just no comparison. As soon as I got the 1962 Breviary, I immediately stopped using the Novus Ordo version and haven’t looked back, since.

The books have stood up pretty well to 2+ years of daily usage, including being crammed in a backpack with a number of other books, being dropped countless times, and just general abuse.  My only complaints have been with the ribbons, which frayed very quickly, and, again, the English translations of the Psalms and hymns, which were so focused on accuracy that lyricism went out the window. They are essentially un-singable in English.

These are a must for any person with a love for the Traditional Liturgy, or any Catholic looking to take a big step forward in their interior life.  It is such a great shame that, in the terrible excesses that occurred in the Church in the early 70s, the 1970 Liturgy of the Hours was literally rushed out, with many very clumsy, banal prayers – some of which were even composed by protestants. That has been confirmed – while there is some question whether parts of the Mass Propers in the Novus Ordo were composed by protestant “observers,” there is no question prayers from the Hours were.  And it really shows.

I know the Breviary is expensive, but this is a lifetime investment.  I cannot recommend it strongly enough.  I also highly recommend it for priests brought up in the Novus Ordo tradition, but who have an attraction for the traditional practice of the Faith.  The traditional Breviary does satisfy their requirement for daily prayer of all the liturgical hours.


A brief rebuttal to a common pro-abort lie December 2, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, horror, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society.
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Since we moved, God be praised, to Irving, my family has gotten much more involved in pro-life efforts. I have reported that due to the passage of the recent laws in the state Legislature, most abortion mills in the DFW area have closed.  Only three remain open, all in Dallas proper. Those three have been very busy, tragically. But, all these mills, providentially, are located adjacent to Catholic crisis pregnancy centers (NOT supported by the Diocese – White Rose and Birth Choice can always use your help and support).  As such, my wife and kids have been going to the mills at least weekly for the past several weeks, praying, counseling, and generally serving the pro-life cause.

One of the most noxious, prevaricating attacks pro-aborts like to make against pro-lifers is that we don’t care about what happens to the baby and mother, we just want to see another baby birthed and then we leave the poor, destitute mother to her own devices, surely floundering around and suffering horribly in squalid conditions, with wailing brats and nothing to feed herself, or them.  This image is very powerful.  I know from personal experience that this kind of image of “baby as bringer of poverty and suffering, the ruin of one’s life,” is frequently in women’s minds when they are considering having their baby killed.  I know women are counseled by staff at the mills that, if they listen to the pro-lifers, they will be stuck with a baby they cannot afford and their lifestyle will surely suffer.

But it is first and foremost totally false, especially as regards the support pro-lifers provide, through agencies like White Rose and Birth Choice, to women with crisis pregnancies.  Pro-lifers in general, and Catholic pro-lifers in particular, care profoundly about helping women who choose to keep their babies, sometimes for long periods after birth.  I know of one woman who received over $20,000 in assistance via White Rose for herself and her child after making the decision against abortion. In another case, a Nigerian refugee couple who arrived in this country destitute was provided with everything they needed for a year by Catholic crisis pregnancy centers.  These are outstanding examples, but hundreds of other women every year receive great assistance from these centers, for things ranging from diapers and formula to cribs, entire sets of bedroom furniture, to pre-loaded gift cards at major retail outlets – everything a mother with child needs.

Of course, there are always needs unmet.  But the idea that pro-lifers are “only in it for the baby,” that this is some perverse ideology that just wants to see a bunch of babies born and then leaves the mother to her own devices, is ludicrous. I think it is once again an indication of projection by the political and social left, for they are the ones that truly use women to score their ideological point, by having an abortion, and then totally abandon them once the procedure is done.  Pro-abort support for post-abortive women is incredibly scant, to the extent it exists at all, and their idea of providing charity to pregnant women and children in need is demanding others pay for it through support for leftist politicians and programs.

The entire philosophical and argumentative basis for abortion is based on murderous lies.  Abortion doctors are not caring professionals, by and large, they are greedy hacks who operate substandard facilities in the only portion of the “medical profession” left open to them. Pro-aborts don’t care about women, they almost universally toss them aside after they score another victory for the march of leftist progress. They certainly don’t care about the children, unless one is so monstrously morally bankrupt as to claim that someone is better off to not be born at all, unless they are born under “ideal” circumstances.

I’ll admit, I tire of the lies, and the stench of demonic death that surrounds these horror houses. But the fight must go on, and will, because every baby saved is an infinite victory for the mother, the child, and the whole wide world.

And, yes, this post was more or less an extended advertisement for White Rose and Birth Choice.  Donate today!


Ladies, this is what the “blob of cells” you want to abort looks like at ~12 weeks

REMINDER – First Friday at the Dallas Carmel December 2, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, religious, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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I have so many things to catch up on!  This Friday/Saturday December 6/7 is the monthly First Friday devotion at the Dallas Carmel, 600 Flowers Ave.  There are two TLMs at 8pm and 3am and the vigil ends with a Novus Ordo at 7am.  There is Confession before and after Mass, as always.  The Vigil starts at 5p on Friday Dec. 6. There are usually some snacks available in a room just off (west) of the chapel.

All details below.  You can also e-mail carmelitevigil@aol.com or call 214-702-8051 for more information.




Join the nuns in storming Heaven!  So many great graces flow down during Adoration and these all night vigils!

Prayer Request December 2, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, sadness, Virtue.
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Regular reader “skeinster” has a crisis and could really use some prayer support. Her youngest daughter was involved in a bad car accident and was seriously injured.  She is stable, but faces a long road of recovery.

Would you, in your charity, please pray for Sarah and her recovery?  I’m sure prayers for the family undergoing this trial would also be of great help at this time.

As a sort of postscript, I know skeinster in RT and she is a great, great lady.  She has been very kind to me.  I think she thinks I get a bit nutty on the blog sometimes, and she’s probably right, but she’s always been so kind and supportive.  I am so sorry her daughter has been afflicted in this way, but I pray this suffering can be endured and worked through for the greater glory of God.

Madonna and Child_BELLINI, Jacopo